By Kate Dobbertin Bernola, manager, Global Social Marketing, Xerox

Last week was Simplify Your Life Week, but I was too busy focusing on more important things to finish other than this blog post (see tip #1!). Though I missed the party, simplifying things at home and in the office never goes out of style. With that in mind, here are five easy ways to simplify your life.

  1. Prioritize.  If your to-do list is 100 items long, chances are you feel more frustrated than empowered when you glance at it.  So throw it out and start fresh.  Before you even turn on your smartphone each morning, list the top three things you want to do, then get started.  At the end of the day, you can breathe easy knowing you’ve tackled the most important tasks.5 Easy Ways to Simplify Your Life
  2. Expedite.  Choose a daily routine, then write down every step (wake up, brush teeth, shower …). Tomorrow, use a stopwatch to time each step.  With data in hand, challenge yourself to take five minutes out of your ritual by eliminating time-wasting steps.  (“I spent three minutes searching for socks? Maybe I should buy a few more pairs and throw out the mismatches.”)
  3. Purge.  Empty your desk drawers, and put back only the essentials.  At home, do the same with closets.  Everything goes into one of four bins:  keep, donate, recycle, trash.  A good rule of thumb is that if you haven’t used it in the past year, it isn’t allowed to stay.
  4. Outsource.  A wise Xerox executive once told me:  “It is less expensive for me to send my kids’ baby-sitter to the grocery store than it is to go myself.  She sticks to the list; I get distracted and add extra items to the cart.”  Lately, many businesses have begun to offer delivery services for groceries and dry cleaning.  Examine all your resources, then divide up the tasks.
  5. Relax.  Making yourself a priority will boost your work efficiency in doing everything else.  Schedule time with a book, treadmill, or a group of friends, and treat it just like you’d treat any other appointment.

Will you be trying one of these tactics, or something similar?  Tell me how you’re simplifying your life in comments section below.